SALT LAKE CITY -- Jordan Loveridge scored 14 points and collected seven rebounds and Princeton Onwas chipped in 12 points and nine boards off the bench to lead Utah to an 84-57 victory over Lamar Friday night.
Renan Lenz added 12 points and Delon Wright chipped in 10 points for the Utes (4-0), who won their second game in two days hosting the Global Sports Hoops Showcase.Rhon Mitchell scored 17 points off the bench and Nimrod Hilliard added 16 for the Cardinals (1-4).Utah shot 69 percent from the field in the second half and finished 34-of-63 (54.0 percent) overall. The Utes out-rebounded Lamar 37-31 and held a 46-26 edge in points in the paint. The Cardinals shot just 25-of-61 from the field (41 percent).Utah broke open a close game early in the second half, turning a six-point halftime lead into a double-digit margin behind the efforts of Loveridge and Wright.The duo hit four straight baskets in the opening minutes of the half, fueling an 11-4 run and giving Utah a 45-32 lead. Once the Utes heated up on offense, they did not cool down.Lamar threatened to cut the lead to single digits again after jumpers from Mitchell and Amos Wilson made it 51-40. Utah buried the Cardinals behind an 18-4 run. Onwas began the spurt with a dunk and Dakari Tucker finished it with a layup, giving Utah a 69-44 lead with 5:59 remaining.The Utes pulled away by imposing their will down low. Out of the nine field goals that made up the decisive run, eight came on layups or dunks.Lamar offered plenty of resistance to Utah out of the gate. During the first half, the Cardinals edged the Utes in categories where they had dominated against their first three opponents.It helped the Cardinals keep Utah from running away from them throughout the first half.Hilliard scored a pair of quick baskets and Wilson slashed in for a layup to push Lamar out to an early 7-3 lead. Loveridge drained a 3-pointer and Lenz converted a 3-point play to put Utah back in front. It helped spark a 13-3 run for the Utes, culminating in a Brandon Taylor 3-pointer and a 16-10 lead.The Cardinals weren't finished. They turned again to Hilliard, who hit a pair of baskets to close the gap. Lamar finally retook the lead a couple of minutes later, going up 21-20 on a layup from Donovan Ross.Utah went back in front when Tucker drained a 3-pointer on the next possession. But the Utes could not quite shake the Cardinals.Lenz hit a couple of baskets to build Utah a five-point cushion. Then Taylor added another 3-pointer to push the Ute lead to six at 32-26. Each time, Mitchell answered with jumpers on the other end to keep Lamar within striking distance going into halftime.Utah will conclude the Global Sports Hoops Showcase on Saturday against Savannah State while Lamar will face Grand Canyon.